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settings for outdoor shoot


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#1 Ruby Gold

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 07:36 PM

I'm still very new to my DVX100b and have my first outdoor shoot coming up. I will be shooting some footage of wind turbines in a rural setting. The turbines look like the ones in the attached jpg, but there's tons of them and they are apparently on a farm. The client would like them to be shot in context of the beautiful farm, big sky, etc.

So I'm looking for suggestions for how best to set exposure, focus, shutter speed and white balance, given:

the big, bright sky as background, with dark green trees
most likely white and silver (e.g. very reflective) colors of the turbines themselves, and the movement of them in the sunlight.

All suggestions appreciated since I'm a newbie with this camera and want the footage to be in focus, good color, exposure, etc.

Thanks-
Ruby

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#2 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 09:00 PM

Among other things, a polarizer filter and a french flag (or matte box) might be helpful for this shoot.
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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 09:26 PM

For wider shots in daylight, focus should not be a problem. You'll more than likely need to use 1/64 ND filter on the camera, to avoid getting any diffraction from the iris closing down more than f16. But if you're using a polarizer, you might be able to use the 1/8ND filter in many situations.

You should try out the different gamma settings to see which one suits you best, especially if you're trying the expose for both white windmills and green foliage in shadow. The "cine-like" gammas look pretty good, but try them all and see what suits you.

Shutterspeed you can use at your discretion. It might look interesting in some shots of the blades moving to use a faster than normal shutter. But you probably don't need to use anything faster than 1/48 or 1/30 in 24P mode the rest of the time.

White balance can also be used at your discretion. For midday, it's usually best to WB in direct sunlight. In late afternoon or sunset though, you can amplify the warm look of direct sunlight by white balancing in the shade. One of the nice things about the DVX is that you can adjust color temperature a little bit after you white balance, so you can warm up or cool off the color by eye, using the menu.

FWIW, you might also look into shooting from a raised platform every once in awhile, so you have some shots that include enough ground and not just sky in the background.
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#4 Ruby Gold

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 04:54 PM

Thanks a lot for the tips. I'm assuming you mean the ND filters built into the camera, right? Also, I was planning on shooting in 60i, not 24p, just because I think with the motion of the blades and everything 60i wd look better. Is there any reason not to?

Last, but not least--I always manually focus--in this setting, however, for the wider distance shots--wd it be better to use auto focus on the infinity setting? Just curious. Thanks again-

Ruby

For wider shots in daylight, focus should not be a problem. You'll more than likely need to use 1/64 ND filter on the camera, to avoid getting any diffraction from the iris closing down more than f16. But if you're using a polarizer, you might be able to use the 1/8ND filter in many situations.

You should try out the different gamma settings to see which one suits you best, especially if you're trying the expose for both white windmills and green foliage in shadow. The "cine-like" gammas look pretty good, but try them all and see what suits you.

Shutterspeed you can use at your discretion. It might look interesting in some shots of the blades moving to use a faster than normal shutter. But you probably don't need to use anything faster than 1/48 or 1/30 in 24P mode the rest of the time.

White balance can also be used at your discretion. For midday, it's usually best to WB in direct sunlight. In late afternoon or sunset though, you can amplify the warm look of direct sunlight by white balancing in the shade. One of the nice things about the DVX is that you can adjust color temperature a little bit after you white balance, so you can warm up or cool off the color by eye, using the menu.

FWIW, you might also look into shooting from a raised platform every once in awhile, so you have some shots that include enough ground and not just sky in the background.


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#5 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 06:57 PM

Last, but not least--I always manually focus--in this setting, however, for the wider distance shots--wd it be better to use auto focus on the infinity setting?


There is probably nothing to gain from using autofocus in the wide shots. Just focus as usual. If anything, the autofocus may cause trouble if it starts buzzing or seeking.

If you use the lens at its widest, or with a wide angle lens, the depth of field will be quite large, covering any small focus imperfections.
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#6 Ruby Gold

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 07:45 PM

Thanks!
Ruby

There is probably nothing to gain from using autofocus in the wide shots. Just focus as usual. If anything, the autofocus may cause trouble if it starts buzzing or seeking.

If you use the lens at its widest, or with a wide angle lens, the depth of field will be quite large, covering any small focus imperfections.


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#7 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 10:05 PM

... I was planning on shooting in 60i, not 24p, just because I think with the motion of the blades and everything 60i wd look better. Is there any reason not to? ...

It's true that different shooting modes -- for example, the DVX100B's 60i, 30p, 24p, or 24pA modes -- result in different asthetic "looks". However, I'll leave it up to you to decide which asthetic is appropriate for your project.

Depending on how you'll distribute your video, you may wish to consider the effect the shooting mode has on per-frame compression, and as a result, per-frame quality. The choice of shooting mode may also impact NTSC vs. PAL distribution.

If the video will be distributed on NTSC DVD, compared to 60i, progressive shooting modes produce sharper video on progressive displays (LCD TVs, video projectors, computers, and filmout). 24p and 24pA produce less compression artifacts compared to 60i on DVD because they can be authored using more bits per frame. And compared to 24p and 24pA, 30p will have motion characteristics more similar to 60i, but 30p can potentially be problematic for conversion to PAL (if required).

It's not a matter of one of these shooting modes being "better" than another, but rather that the choice can have impacts down the line other than asthetics.
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#8 andybiz_2005

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 08:57 AM

The DVX has also what is called "Zebra". Go into the menu & set your Zebra 1 at 80% & your Zebra 2 at 100%. Then open the 3.5" flip out LCD panel where you'll see a button called "Zebra" on the camera body. Press it once to engage zebra setting 1 (80%), or press it a second time to engage zebra setting 2 (100%). I would engage zebra 1, esp when shooting in very bright sunlight (assuming your ND filter is engaged too).

Over-exposed areas in the picture will have diagonal zebra stripes running across it telling you that you need to bump down the exposure a bit. You can do this be setting your iris to manual & rotate the iris wheel until most of the zebra stripes dissapear. Hope this helps.

Andrew
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#9 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 06:52 PM

As mentioned before definitly a polarizer, maybe a nd-grade to get the sky darker...the attached picture looks like it had a grade
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